News

    China Welcomes Annan Visit

    Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, left, is greeted by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during their meeting at the Great Hall of People in Beijing, March 27, 2012.
    Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, left, is greeted by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during their meeting at the Great Hall of People in Beijing, March 27, 2012.

    China says it supports the efforts of international peace envoy Kofi Annan, who is in Beijing to try to persuade Chinese leaders to support his plan on resolving tensions in Syria.

    In a sign of how important China sees the ongoing crisis in Syria, one of the country's top leaders, Premier Wen Jiabao, met with Kofi Annan Tuesday in Beijing.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters his government welcomes international efforts to resolve the Syria issue peacefully.

    He says China wants to work with the international community to play a constructive and active role for what he called the proper peaceful resolution of the Syria situation. He adds that China supports special envoy Annan's “good offices” to resolve the situation, but he stopped short of saying whether Beijing fully supports his Syrian peace plan.

    China and Russia have vetoed United Nations resolutions that condemned the Syrian government's crackdown and called for the Syrian president to step down. U.S. officials at a nuclear summit in Seoul said they still want to see Bashar al-Assad leave office, but welcomed the Annan plan as a basis for further talks with China and Russia.

    Annan came to Beijing from Moscow, where he received the Russian government's full support for his latest plan, which calls for an immediate U.N.-supervised cease-fire and dialogue between Assad and his critics aimed at political reform.

    Joseph Cheng, a political science professor at Hong Kong's City University, says Annan's visit provides an important opportunity for China.

    “I think China welcomes this trip because it allows China to have an honorable retreat, so to speak, from its very strong position in refusing to support the resolution on the part of the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Syria," he stated. "So, the efforts of Kofi Annan supports the position of China and Russia, that the U.N. Security Council should avoid taking military action, at least at this stage.”

    China says it has no plans to attend the second Friends of Syria meeting, which is set for April 1 in Istanbul. Cheng says Beijing so far has its own reasons for not wanting to be at that meeting.

    “China understands that its position will be an isolated one in the forum, and it will be difficult for China to persuade the major participants to change their stance. And therefore, China believes that it is not wise, it is more appropriate for China NOT to attend the forum,” he said.

    At the same time, Cheng says he thinks it is possible that the Kofi Annan mission could achieve some sort of breakthrough that could make it possible for China to attend the international meeting after all. Annan is set to leave China on Wednesday.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora